Turf Toe – it’s a common football injury that has taken its toll on players throughout the NFL this year. For the playoff bound Baltimore Ravens, Turf Toe has claimed two victims that are an essential ingredient to their team’s success – cornerback Ladarius Webb and inside linebacker Ray Lewis. Lewis has been sidelined now for four weeks and Webb today is announcing he’ll make the speediest return to action in the history of the NFL since injuring his toe last weekend against the Colts. While both players are receiving treatment to help facilitate a speedy return, wild speculation across the web continues to fly about on the internet regarding the severity of both player’s injuries and when they’ll actually return to full practice. Turf toe can be a difficult injury to recover from and, depending on its severity, can require a broad spectrum of treatment modalities ranging from rest and the use of a cam walker for immobilization to possible surgery in limited cases.
What Is Turf Toe?
Turf Toe is an injury to the ligaments at the base of the great toe where it connects to the rest of your foot. This joint is called your metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP joint). The Classic turf toe football injury involves driving the great toe into a hyper extended position such as being tackled with weight coming down onto a player’s heel while the front of the cleat is still flexed, stuck in the turf. The forces being exerted through the 1st MTP joint can cause stretching and even tearing of the ligaments that make up the joint capsule that surrounds and protects the joint. Immediate pain and swelling result as part of the inflammatory process. Every professional football player is unique and while they have the potential to heal more quickly than everyday patients, one thing is for certain – if a player returns to quickly without fully resting this type of injury, it can return turning into a chronic (repeat) injury. Just ask Ray Lewis. Treatment often consists of rest, reusable ice packs, use of cam walkers, orthotics to prevent excessive great toe hyperextension, even athletic taping to resist great toe hyperextension inside a cleat.
Drumroll Please – Will Webb And Lewis Return In Time For The Playoffs?
While Ladarius Webb is claiming he’ll be back definitely for the next game against the San Diego Chargers, little to no talk has leaked out from Ravens staff about when Ray Lewis will actually return. This is not the first or even the second time that Lewis has been plagued with this injury and there has to be a fair amount of concern about the underlying stability and integrity of his great toe given the length of his time he’s been listed as “questionable” at game time. Our hope is that both players return to play 100% healed. That way they’ll be in a position to fully compete, and help the Ravens go all the way in their hunt for a birth in this year’s Superbowl.
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